How to Find Grant Money for Teenage Programs

by Shannon Marks

There are a variety of organizations, from local businesses, local government, and national non-profit organizations that offer grants to young people for any number of projects and achievements. Grant winners go on to fight teen dating abuse, start campaigns to prevent teen pregnancy, and develop suicide intervention programs. If there’s a teen or group of young people in your community with an ambitious desire to help they could qualify for any number of grants.

Local Grants

Call your school district and ask about mini grants offered by local businesses and organizations. Your school board should also be aware of local and state government funds for students.

Call your county or state's health department. According to YouthNoise, a non-profit organization that works to empower young people, some local health departments dispense grants to teen programs with a plan to eliminate youth smoking and substance abuse and other community initiatives that address health and well being.

Go to a Web site like the Grantmanship Center to perform a search. Click on your state and get information about top grant-making organizations, community foundations and corporate programs in your state.

National Grants

Go to Grants.gov, click 'government nenefits' and search Grants/Scholarships/Fellowships under 'benefits quick search'. You may need to search through quite a few different programs, but it's one of the most comprehensive databases online of all government grants.

Go to http://www.yar.org to find a Youth As Resources (YAR) chapter in your community. YAR is a program that aims to bring positive change to communities. They provide a variety of grants to kids all over the country who design and officiate projects that help their community, including health, housing, education, substance abuse and crime.

Go to http://www.servicewire.org/nsb/Grants-and-Awards to browse available grants offered by Youth Service America (YSA). YSA offers grants to young female entrepreneurs, funds environmental projects spearheaded by youth and awards young people who provide critically needed services to their community.

Grant Finders

Look online for a Web site that compiles information about grant programs. Use a ubiquitous search engine like Google or Bing. Type a query with keywords like 'how to find grants'.

Search the website of The Foundation Center (http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/). The Foundation Center allows you to research grant-issuing organizations by grant name--including a partial or former name. You can also look for grant makers in specific areas.

Search ChildrenforChildren.org (CFC). CFC teaches kids the importance of civic responsibility and participation. On the Youth Volunteer Grants page, you'll find a list of prizes being awarded to kids for a variety of community service programs.

Tips

  • It's important to know how to write a grant proposal. The United Nations offers some tips for writing grants at http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/sflib/libmgnt/grantproposals.htm.

About the Author

Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.

Photo Credits

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